The Witness Tree and the Shadow of the Noose: Mystery, Lies, and Spies in Manassas (Civil War Mystery) (Paperback)
Jake Salmon's family has moved to a creepy, cramped house in historic Manassas, on the outskirts of the famous Civil War battlefield. Outside his bedroom window stands an old oak tree where, by night, a street lamp throws a shadow from the tree onto his closet door in the appearance of a hang-man's noose. Late one night, Jake hears footsteps in the basement. Convinced there's a killer hiding in his house, he does what any other twelve-year-old would do. He ducks under his pillow and hides. But when he witnesses a man running across their snow-covered lawn without leaving any footprints, Jake is faced with the possibility that the axe-wielding madman may in fact be a ghost. Not exactly something you're open to in middle school. Ghosts aren't real. They're right up there with fairies and goblins and monsters in the closet. Right? However, after the previous homeowner confirms dangerous encounters with the ghost of Confederate soldier Thomas Garnet, Jake, along with his friend Raj, and his younger brother and Civil War buff, Danny, sets out to uncover the mystery. At the Manassas battlefield museum where Jake's mom works as a curator, the boys discover diary entries shedding light on Tom Garnet's fate. Can the boys solve this mystery of history?